General information on Guyana

 

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                        Guyana is a South-American/ Caribbean Country that has about 215.000 square kilometers of extension and a rich landscape. The country is made up by a trinity of counties: Demerara, Berbice and Essequibo. In the first one lies Georgetown, the capital city, which is the usual base for the majority of visitors to Guyana.

                        Georgetown is made of tree-lined avenues, stately colonial structures, and Victorian and Gothic architecture. This extent of heritage retention owes much to the preservation efforts of the National Trust and the ability of that body to accommodate changes and modernizations while retaining much of the integrity of the city’s historic structures. The Avenue of the Republic, from Brickdam to Church Street, is historical.  Parliament buildings occupy an entire block, standing across Stabroek Market and the Old Fire Station. Standing on the grounds of Parliament Buildings and gazing down the busy avenue is the statue of Hubert Nathaniel Critchlow, father of trade unionism in Guyana. Directly opposite Parliament Buildings to the north is Georgetown’s oldest church – St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Kirk, an elegant wooden triumph that has worn very well through the ages. The company of aged structures is complete with the Victoria Law Courts and High Court buildings across the street – outstanding expressions of Victorian architecture. St. George’s Cathedral is located a little way to the Northeast and it is reputed to be the world’s tallest wooden building.

                        In route to the Sea Wall Road and Le Meridien Pegasus, Cheddi Jagan Research Center, known as “Red House”, is also found – an impressive reminder of the beauty of the uses of wood. The Bank of Guyana, the National Cultural Center in Homestretch Avenue, regarded as being among the finest of its kind in the Caribbean, and recently established headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat on the Railway Embankment road.

                        As you head east out of Georgetown and cross the Abary bridge, you enter the county of Berbice. Known as the “ancient county”, Berbice overwhelms you with its mix of historic and modern architecture, teeming market and Mediterranean bazaar ambience of its famous Coburg Street (New Amsterdam). In 1627 Abraham Van Pere established a small settlement up the Berbice River, approximately 75 miles from the present town of New Amsterdam. Fort Nassau, a small wooden fortification was constructed. Early records described this fortification as one wich was constructed of timber and surrounded with palisades and armed with a small canon.  

                        The county of Berbice boasts some of the finest aspects of Guyana’s cultural heritage and it also has a rich architecture, agricultural and industrial heritage to lush flora and fauna all with a hint of history.

                        Blairmont and Skeldon are also famous for their sugar plantations, which have kept the same sweet sugarcane fields, the industrial complex, and the domestic quarters of the workers. Nature is set by the dark black water of Berbice River and for innumerous variety of birds, such as the national bird Canje Pheasant, macaws and parrots along the river’s edge, where monkeys may also be seen.

                        The town of New Amsterdam also has an interesting mix of architectural merit and history, such as The New Amsterdam Public Hospital, the Town Hall, and Mission Chapel Congretional Church.

                        Finally, the county of Essequibo, the largest one encompassing nearly two-thirds of the Guyana land mass, completes and deepens the mystery embedded in Guyana’s system. Known as the “Cinderella county”, it is home of the highest mountain range – the Pakaraimas; the country’s highest waterfall – Kaieteur Falls; the longest river – the Essequibo river; the most extensive savannahs – the Rupununi savannahs; the largest concentration of indigenous peoples and the home of a thousand varieties of floral and wildlife species and natural treasures. The best-known centers in Essequibo are Parika and Bartika on the east, Anna Regina on the west, and Lethem down south.

 

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